This summer, the Mastry family will expand to their local legacy to St. Pete Beach.
Mastry’s Brewing Co. founder Matthew Dahm is the grandson of first generation Mastry family member, Juliet Mastry Miller, and the nephew of her sister, Marguerite Mastry Dawson. Golden shovels in tow, the pair helped Dahm make the brewery’s official groundbreaking during a ceremony Monday morning, as more relatives (several Mastry generations' worth), members of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, and other officials looked on.
Matthew, an entrepreneur and engineer, describes Mastry’s Brewing as a “light-bulb moment” he had in 2014.
The one-and-a-half-barrel nanobrewery — whose beer-making crew consists of brewmaster Matthew, his cousin and brewer Bernie Moran, and assistant brewer Micheil McElvey — began at Moran’s Tyrone restaurant, CD Roma, a little over a year ago. Since then, the St. Petersburg operation has developed a following for its Roma Ale, a honey basil amber ale, and an expansion to 7701 Blind Pass Road makes the brewery and tasting room a first for St. Pete Beach.
Formerly home to a quick-change tire shop, the brewery’s new 1,750-square-foot space (which doesn’t account for the beer garden or walk-in cooler) has been vacant for seven to 10 years. The renovations will include cutting up trenches for the five-barrel brewing system and framing out the bar area, in addition to installing a walk-in cooler, plumbing and electric; Matthew calls this a “beautification process.”
The building is set to feature four glass roll-up garage doors — two will allow for a view inside the brewhouse, and two more will open to the tasting room. Outside, part of the spacious beer garden will be covered by an overhang, while the other half, where games such as ring toss are planned, will not.
To showcase its beach identity but also stand out, Mastry’s Brewing won’t have an industrial or fishing-themed feel. Patrons should expect a coffeehouse atmosphere that’s elegant, clean and subtle, which the color scheme will reflect as well. Speaking of coffeehouses, fresh cold-brew, nitro offerings from an on-site coffee roaster will be highlighted on tap to cater to the morning crowd. The brewery will incorporate the house coffee into some of the beer, too, according to Mastry’s Brewing community liaison Danielle Dahm.
In the first six months, 10 to 15 percent what’s brewed will be for distribution. Matthew says he aims to supply between 20 and 25 restaurants and bars, including the 85-year-old Mastry’s Bar based in downtown St. Pete, with the best beer for them, whether that means using a brew to complement a seafood eatery’s menu, or providing a pub with a drinkable lager “to help change the status quo beer.”
“We think it’s absolutely exciting,” Chamber of Commerce CEO Robin Sollie said of the brewery. “It helps this community have a different vibe, a different feel.”
Though a firm opening date hasn’t been announced, Mastry’s Brewing will focus largely on what Matthew refers to as “a high-end, exotic approach to beer.”
Rather than having brews that pair well with food as the cornerstone, which was the idea at CD Roma, various spices and fruits will drive a beer selection influenced by coastal cities like Thailand and Brazil, plus Lebanon and Belize, where the Mastry family is primarily from. Twelve taps will be offered to start.
“We want you to sit down and drink in that vacation,” Matthew says. “We want to create that on St. Pete Beach for the locals.”